An Empty Wallet

January 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

Well, fellow post-a-dayers, we officially completed one full month. What will you do to celebrate?

Since it’s a monday night I think I’ll refrain from any wild benders. As my area prepares to get hit with yet another snow/ice storm, the cold air outside, and the endorphins from my weightlifting class set in, my mind is getting quiet. I will celebrate by reflecting on the month behind me and the month to come. On the Daily Post at WordPress.com, Erica Johnson asks, “How’s your post a day/post a week progress coming along?” What a question!

Honestly, I feel like I’m really starting to make headway with my clutter and I’m so happy that I have 31 posts (not including post #1) to show for my efforts. I often feel like this open space is the highlight of these bleak winter days–an opportunity to create, to share, to put whatever comes to mind on a page and send it to my friends, family, fellow bloggers and beyond. Thanks for holding me accountable–knowing you’re there keeps me pushing down these tired keys.

Today I will discard another item from my preteendom–a wallet that I can’t say ever held much money.

It’s from a time when carrying around any sort of ID or club card made me feel sophisticated, excited to take on more responsibility. Many years later, my wallet is full of things I wish I didn’t have to carry around, heavy with obligation. I guess that’s just an inevitability. Most children never listen to their parents when they say, “don’t grow up too fast because you’ll miss your youth when you’re older.” And when you grow up, you remember those words fondly and think, I wish I had listened. But that’s the thing about listening. I’m beginning to realize that you can listen all of your life, but it’ll never be the same as actively learning by experience. Words can cause you to take heed, to apply, to guide your decisions and then carefully examine your efforts, your failures and triumphs.

But as I reflect, I can see how sad a wallet devoid of any identification can be. I think it’s a very human thing to crave these little pieces of society because we desire to be validated. Yes, what often seems as a burden in our wallets, pockets and purses can also be a great thing–to join part of a worthy conglomerate. Like my weightlifting class, it requires focus, stability and discipline to join. And every once in a while, on days like today, I find it very difficult to muster all three, fighting the urge to run the other way.

So if you’ve made it this far, fellow bloggers, I congratulate you. And if you ran away, then I congratulate you too. There are all sorts of perspectives and it takes many different types of courage to sustain those perspective journeys and to grow.

 

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Sockday

January 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

It seems Sundays have become sockdays. When I woke up this morning I decided to clean out my clothes closet in the bedroom of my apartment. And what did I find? More mismatched socks! I must be cursed.

I always dread cleaning up clothes. I always have. I don’t think I ever had any particularly traumatic experiences while picking up my room. It’s just the last thing I want to do with my time with a million other things on my agenda. So I let it get worse and worse until it feels like a significant effort to reorganize the space.

With my busy schedule and my lack of a good organizational system, my clothes end up strewn about the bedroom as if a cyclone had hit it. I feel like I’m similar to the Warner Brother’s Tasmanian Devil, leaving a trail of chaos in my path.

Is this is a feminine phenomena? Of course, I do reserve the right, as a lady, to change my mind and it seems I practice it on a daily basis. “This shirt doesn’t match.” “I look fat in this skirt today.” “That simply doesn’t look right.” At the end of my morning rush, the victims of my capricious dressing lay lifeless on the bed, bedside table, and let’s face it, the floor. The weekend becomes the time to nurse the soldiers back to health by way of laundry, ironing, folding and stowing.

I’m resolving to fix it. And those of you who may also have this problem, I’m asking you to join me. Everyday this week I will lay out my clothes for the next day before I go to bed in an attempt to reform my disorganized habits.

Land of Misfit Socks: Knit Fit

January 29, 2011 § 5 Comments

Confession: I’m actually in the midst of knitting my own pair of socks. I’ve been a knitter for years but haven’t taken on too many projects that require many increases or decreases of stitches. Stuck on the same few rows for a while, I grew frustrated and decided to put down my project. I haven’t picked it back up in months. What is it about frustration that gets the better of us?

The word frustration is rather simple, but its fourth dictionary definition, according to dictionary.com is “a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.” The word’s predecessor comes from Middle English, “frustracioun” which connoted disappointment and deception. Reflecting on this emotion, what are we really feeling when we say we’re frustrated? I know it’s a common phrase to say, “I’m frustrated with the situation,” but when someone says it about a personal¬† project, is it disappointment and anxiety felt in ourselves over our inability to fix or solve an issue inhibiting our end goal? Is it just another way of saying we’re disappointment in the self?

Clearly this goes far beyond a knitting project. Whether it’s in a job, a relationship, a bad habit, or just struggling with our inner demons, sometimes just the feeling of frustration, anxiety in the self, can stop us from plowing through the problem. Is it the fear of failing to find an alternate solution? Like the risk of searching for a new vocation, reaching a compromise with your partner, friend or family member, asking for help with a bad habit, sometimes you just have to admit that what you’ve tried before has failed and that’s no reflection on your skills or aptitude. It’s called perseverance, to persist in spite of difficulty. And I think it’s something that we can all admit to struggling with from time to time. I know I do.

So whether you’re a fellow blogger struggling to maintain your one a day or one a week posts, or you’ve lost your job and you’re looking for courage to try something new, or maybe you just can’t seem to fix your problems in a relationship, hold strong and rest easy in the fact that you’re not alone. Perseverance sometimes requires us to swallow our pride or expectations and find perhaps another way.

(Sock that’s being pitched today)

Sock ’em Boppers

January 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

This nasty, stained sock is unmistakably from my days of dancing at Carol’s Academy of Dance. Dancing in my socks on the bare floor for hours every week, I don’t know what I expected. What happened to the other, I’ll never know. But honestly, would it wouldn’t matter anyway? They’re rotten.

Speaking of socks and activities, do you remember Sock’em Boppers by Big Time Toys? I’ll never quite get that little jingle out of my head!

Clearly, it was genius that thought of that little product. It probably cost a few cents each to produce, making a 98% profit. What kids are getting is a wonderful excuse to beat each other up. Did I have a pair? Nope. I was always too old-school for that. As the youngest of three by eight and ten years, and the only girl, I was often at the mercy of my devoted and at times violent older brothers. I wanted my punches, slaps and clawing to hurt.

It’ll Knock Your Socks Off

January 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Continuing on our exploration of the land of misfit socks, I couldn’t help but be reminded of that often used phrase, ‘knock your socks off.’ What does that really mean? Where did this ridiculous saying come from. Can you knock someone’s socks off?

Two things came to mind immediately. The first, a scene from Laurel and Hardy where Stan Laurel is boxing with his socks half on. I couldn’t find a clip that featured his floppy socks but here’s another great clip of the ‘8:30’ man as my family so lovingly calls him, getting ‘socked.’

watch?v=lQq2d8S3-ls

The next reminds me of the an episode of MythBusters in which they bust the myth that one can actually have their socks blown off their body by being punched. So where did this term actually come from? It originated in the mid 19th century, as far as anyone can tell, to mean to vanquish someone thoroughly. It often referred to the boxing ring. And though the saying stuck, it meant nothing more than a treat similar to “I’ll hit you into next week.” At least in Pennsylvania, the phrase has come to mean something that will shock or delight an individual. Any ideas as to why? Maybe we’re just that into boxing and MMA around here.

So here’s goodbye to another matchless sock. You put up a good fight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rumpled Sockskins

January 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

Speaking of the laundry gnome that came up on Monday’s post, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Brother’s Grimm for their wonderful portrayals of ghastly, horrible creatures. They’re terribly unsuitable for children which is why they’re great! How would the Brother’s portray this modern-day sock elf, as my dear friend, ‘starbear’ refers to them? I imagine it would look a lot like Rumpelstiltskin who would only work for socks. I would have tons of currency for this fine fellow.

Here’s the ‘Shrek’ version of the Rumpler, courtesy of Pixar. I have to say, I always imagined him to be much more like the crypt keeper.

After a rotten day full of snow, a missed interview (I was present, the interviewer was not) and a ill-fated shopping trip, I am literally hearing very ominous thunder in the dead of winter. I could pull a sockskins right now and stamp through the floor.

John Socke

January 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

Reflecting on the last month as I stare at this mass of useless socks, I can’t help but be reminded of what our old friend John Locke had to say about property: unused property is waste and an offense against nature. Those are some pretty serious accusations. But perhaps it is this accusation in our western culture that makes us afraid to get rid of any salvageable item in our consumerist homes. God forbid we make an offense against nature. When merging these two topics, I have to say, even as an environmentalist, that sometimes for our own mental health we have to fight against human nature, our predisposition to amass objects. So, lonely sock, I dub thee John Socke. Reminding us to be mindful of what we consume, lest we waste.

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